Yen Azzaro is an artist, illustrator, and communications expert who merges years of fine art experience with corporate and non-profit know-how to solve problems and help businesses thrive. Some of her most prominent work has been centered around topics of social justice and access to education.
Yen was previously an art dealer in Chicago before moving back to her home state of Michigan to be closer to family. With her husband, Nick, she successfully built and launched Chin-Azzaro, an exhibition and experiential strategy company that used many of her artistic skills to create and drive brand campaigns.
In 2011, she received a request capture a medical workshop at The University of Michigan using mind mapping and graphic recording. She became hooked. Since then, she has recorded and guided conversations for clients such as The Kresge Foundation, Ford Motor Co., The Andersons, and The University of Michigan. Her belief that communication is most effective when visual, personal, and succinct is the foundation for the success she has facilitated for her clients. Her work is on display in lobbies and offices worldwide.
Yen has a deep passion for community work and helping her clients see the big picture and achieve success. Over the last eight years she has been awarded over $64,000 in grants to produce creative projects uplifting her local community. She is currently the co-awardee of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation In Our Neighborhood grant. Along with her husband Nick, they work with Ypsilanti youth to perform art happenings in and around Ypsilanti, challenging students to overcome social barriers and groom marketing, photography, and performance skills.
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"Fast, fun and effective! It was a joy to watch Yen synthesize the contents of our meeting in real time and to have a lasting graphic document that is a work of art. This graphic representation hangs proudly in the Engage@EMU main office at Eastern Michigan University."
-Dr. Lynn Malinoff, Director, Bright Futures
I was recording for a major company with a Go Pro camera mounted to the graphic recording a few inches from my face. About five minutes into the session, I misspelled the word "energy" (I mean, really Yen!?) and I could feel my face going beet red as I frantically edited and reworked the area. Yikes! I swear, it took me about 10 minutes to get back into the groove after that. Who ever saw that time lapse video got a good laugh, I'm sure!
I love to collect art from artists I know. I also have a small collection of school desks and bird cages (no birds allowed). My favorite piece is a wood and iron school desk from 1911 with the seat in the front and bolts meant to be attached to the wood plank floor.
I'm not your traditional graphic recorder. I love to lay a solid color and outline just slightly off-register, like an old printing press. As a fine artist, I had lots of life drawing hours during college and my line work is fluid with thick and thin lines. Brush tip markers are my favorite, because lines of varying width lend visual and aesthetic interest in every recording. I call this "illustration communication."
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